Business Change Agent: 5 Musts For Cultivating The Skills And Abilities

By Chutisa and Steven Bowman, - In Leadership

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Photo Credit: sea-turtle

Do you have what it takes to prosper and thrive?

Innovation separates champions from losers in the marketplace. An organization needs to constantly innovate to succeed. Innovation is about change. We live in an era of unprecedented, relentless and rapid change. Things are changing rapidly. It’s the new business reality. This rapidly changing environment has not been kind to businesses that choose to hang on to the old business model.

Change is no longer an option. The changes that are taking place globally are unprecedented in their scope. It’s not only transpiring at a rapid speed, but it has become an imperative in the way you need to operate your business today. To prosper and thrive in this environment you have to be willing to become the agent of change. In recent years, people who were content to rise with the tide of the economy have also fallen with it. The big risk today is staying with the herd and copying what others are doing. Not adjusting to the new environment or simply being unaware of other possibilities accounts for most business failures.

The secret to success lies in how you can respond to this rapid change and plan to meet its inherent challenges. If you can perceive these changes as strategic advantages and opportunities, you will be more likely to recognize new possibilities.

You need different skills to take you into a future that is becoming far more complex, challenging and different by the minute. Being ‘the agent of change’ demands a new way of being, agility and flexibility. How can you keep operating the way you do – with the same business procedures, structures, conventions and methodologies, when the rate of change that envelopes your organization is so dramatic and dynamic and speedy? You must cultivate the skill and insight to prepare for a future that is rushing at you and your organization faster than ever before.

The point is this: to thrive in an increasingly unsettling and chaotic world, you must be open to change. Great prospects and new possibilities in business always come from changes that are taking place right here and right now. If you are blinded by the norms of conventional practice, you won’t see the changes until it’s too late. Setbacks are certain to emerge when you focus primarily on the conventional business-as-usual practices. You have to let go of the business-as-usual paradigm. When you move beyond that, a whole new universe opens up to you. It’s just a CHOICE!

Here are 5 tips for cultivating the skills and abilities of a business change agent.

Be open and intensely curious about everything you encounter. Insatiable curiosity is the key to innovation.

  1. Cultivate the courage to stand alone, even in the face of unfavorable consequences and be willing to be a nonconformist.
  2. Expand your awareness and be persistent and relentless in your search for insight, inspirations and ideas.
  3. Change your focus. Let go of the fixed points of view, assumptions and conclusions that based on your past experience. Stretch your perception beyond reality to possibility.
  4. Cultivate a full-spectrum perspective. Stop functioning from a linear perspective. Start looking at things from different standpoints and be willing to embrace and deal with complex and diverse ideas.



Steven Bowman is a leading international advisor in nonprofit strategy, governance, and leadership. He currently consults with over one thousand nonprofit and corporate organizations each year in the USA, UK, Australia, NZ and Asia. He is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Corporate Law and Accountability Research Group, Monash University. For more information –

Chutisa Bowman is a pragmatic futurist, author, columnist, media commentator, and consultant, with a focus on connecting business transformation with future trends and innovation. She is trained both as a psychotherapist and conventional behavioral scientist and ergonomist. Chutisa’s previous executive roles include senior executive at a number of Australia’s largest publicly listed retail corporations (David Jones, Coles Myers – Target and K Mart), and a senior consultant with one of Australia’s most prominent usability and human factors specialist consulting firms. For more information –